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Monday, December 8, 2008

Interview with The University Bookman

The Russell Kirk Center publishes a quarterly literary journal called The University Bookman. Their editors interview me this month about my 2006 book The Big Ripoff, which last month won the Templeton Enterprise Award.

You can read the Bookman interview, "Behind the Big Ripoff" here.

A highlight:
University Bookman: Conservatives often speak of “capitalism” or “the free market”; have conservatives bought into the illusion that big business means capitalism is working?

Tim Carney: Many have. It’s an easy illusion to fall for. We know Ralph Nader hates GM, and we know Ralph Nader is a socialist. So it’s easy to assume defending GM is the same as defending the free market.

But, as I discuss in The Big Ripoff, “capitalism” has two meanings. First, it can be a synonym for the free market. But in other contexts it describes a sort of economy in which there is much debt and well-ordered capital markets with much investing. Alexander Hamilton knew these two—free markets and robust stock markets—might be at odds. He favored stock markets over free markets. He won.

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